Amnesty International takes on maternal mortality in the U.S.

Amnesty International just released a report on maternal mortality (and near misses) in the United States, treating it like a human rights issue. It’s often asserted, including in this report, that infant and maternity mortality are key indicators in the health and social justice of a country.

I need to finish reading the 154 page report (ulp!) so I can get my thoughts together to be a coordinator for local lobbying. I like their proposal to ask Representatives and Senators to call on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to create an Office of Maternal Health at DHHS, and to improve collection of data on perinatal mortality and morbidity on a state by state level.

Then, I’ll report back, and hopefully get to my cousin Susan’s birth story and the NIH VBAC conference.


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5 responses to “Amnesty International takes on maternal mortality in the U.S.

  1. I skimmed the whole thing the other night when I should have been studying. I spent a lot of time with my “horrified” face on – hand over agape mouth, brow furrowed. I spent a lot of time after being kind of bent out of shape about the state of obstetrical and prenatal care, and thinking about the variations in care I received when I had my kids. For instance, I had such a bad experience with my last OB that I didn’t go back for my six-week checkup… and I’m a medical student.

    I’m drafting a letter. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


  2. I look forward to your post. I think the concept of maternal/infant mortality being an indicator for the health and social justice of a country is a message very much needed in the US…in spite of what some windbag white man might think.

  3. Right at this moment I am a little upset about human traficking in India. Specifically young females for sex trade. Perhaps as an American it is easier to see the wrongs in other countries. However, I thought, “what can I do to help?” I guess it just isn’t enough to say, ‘oh how sad.”

  4. Dang, I’m so glad you posted this – so appalled at the stories. I’m one of the people who’s hyperaware of maternal mortality (and the near misses) just because it was so much more common 100 years ago among the women I studied. It casts a long shadow, indeed. And yet, being aware of this issue hasn’t hardened me to it. I had tears in my eyes and my throat was closing up, thinking of all the unending grief.

    On a more sober note, the table in back comparing different states is quite dramatic. Check out the rates for Vermont and Maine versus Georgia. Appalling.

    I want to subject every “pro-life” health care opponent to a dramatic reading of this report until they change their vote.

  5. Pingback: A “Pro-Life” Rejoinder to Stupak’s Stupidity « Kittywampus

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